LAS VEGAS – The cut along Tyson Fury’s right eyebrow obviously was about as bad as lacerations can be in boxing.
Bob Arum, Fury’s co-promoter, still doesn’t think that grotesque gash will force them to push back his rematch with Deontay Wilder. Fury, the lineal heavyweight champion, and Wilder, the WBC champ, have signed contracts to fight February 22 in Las Vegas.
Their rematch is contingent on Fury and Wilder winning interim matches. Fury did his part Saturday night by beating Otto Wallin, but the unbeaten Brit had to fight through that wide cut for nine-plus rounds.
Fury didn’t attend the post-fight press conference at T-Mobile Arena because he went to a local hospital to have his cut stitched. His rematch with Wilder is more than five months away, thus Arum is more concerned about Wilder’s upcoming rematch against Luis Ortiz than how long it’ll take for Fury’s cut to heal.
“It’s September, so even if you give it two months to heal and don’t spar, [he’ll have] plenty of time to get ready for February,” Arum said. “Luckily, it kills Frank’s plan. [Co-promoter] Frank [Warren] wanted to give him another fight in December.”
Warren was as optimistic as Arum about Fury’s cut healing in plenty of time to keep his rematch with Wilder on its intended date.
“The doctor said in here, he said that as much as it was a very, very bad cut, but it was a clean cut,” Warren said. “So, it doesn’t need microsurgery inside and whatever. He said it’ll stitch well, so fingers crossed that they’re right.”
Sweden’s Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) opened the huge gash over Fury’s right eye by landing a short left hand during the third round. Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) also suffered a cut across his right eyelid, which was far less noticeable.
Ben Davison, Fury’s trainer, credited cut man Jorge Capetillo for the work he did in trying to control the bleeding from Fury’s cuts. Unlike Arum and Warren, Davison declined to speculate about how long the larger laceration would keep Fury out of action.
“I know boxing and I know boxing very well,” Davison said. “But I’m not a surgeon. I couldn’t comment on that. So, we’ll have to see. Tyson’s on his way to get it all sorted out now, so we’ll have to see what advice he’s given there.”
Even if Fury’s cut heals in time, Wilder still must defeat Cuba’s Luis Ortiz in their rematch November 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena to solidify his rematch against Fury. Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is listed as a 5-1 favorite over Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC), whom Wilder knocked out in the 10th round of their March 2018 bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing